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Stanford MBA Future Leaders Program

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The Stanford MBA Future Leaders Program exposes the next generation of diverse leaders to a management education and prepares you for success in an MBA program and beyond.

The Stanford MBA Future Leaders Program is a three-day residential event hosted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and corporate sponsors in the San Francisco Bay Area that introduces college students from diverse backgrounds to an MBA education and post-MBA career opportunities. You will experience life as a Stanford GSB student as you live on campus, participate in the classroom, engage in various innovation and leadership activities, and gain exposure to the GSB and Bay Area communities.

The inaugural Stanford MBA Future Leaders Program takes place at Stanford GSB from 11-14 August 2016. The generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations covers all transportation costs to and from the program (including airfare), as well as lodging and food during the program for program participants.

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Program at a Glance

  • Class Immersion Experience: Experience the academic life of a MBA student by participating in classes with Stanford GSB faculty. You will dive into a case study and examine a real business issue.
  • Design Thinking Exercise: Learn about the Stanford d.School’s design thinking approach to create innovative solutions to problems impacting the world. In this hands-on workshop, you will have the opportunity to work on real-world problems using this methodology.
  • Career Design Workshop: Work with the GSB Career Management Center to plan the next steps for your career after college. Our career advisors will help you build and practice a key skill in landing a great role: networking!
  • Company Visits: Gain exposure to some of the top companies in the Bay Area and learn about the career opportunities in a variety of industries.
  • MBA Bootcamp: Learn more about the Stanford GSB MBA Admissions process and get prepared to apply in the future.


To be eligible for this program, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident entering your junior year in college and have completed your sophomore year by June 2016. You do not need to be in a business or business-related major to apply to the program. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) majors are encouraged. Competitive applicants will have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.

This program aims to increase the breadth of backgrounds and perspectives in the Stanford community by bringing your voice to the GSB. If you would add diversity broadly defined to the business school and business communities, you are particularly encouraged to apply. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and LGBTQ students
  • First-generation college students
  • Pell-grant eligible students
  • Students with other work and life experiences that may add a distinct perspective

Application and Selection Criteria

To apply, you must submit an application by Thursday, 17 March 2016 at 5 pm Pacific Time.

Program application materials include:

  • Educational history: Submit an unofficial copy of your transcripts from your current undergraduate institution.
  • Extracurricular involvement and employment history (if applicable): Submit a resume describing any work experiences, paid or unpaid internships, awards or honors (academic, professional, or personal), and involvement in extracurricular activities including but not limited to sports, clubs, and volunteer experiences. The resume may not exceed one page
  • Recommendation from a college advisor or work/internship supervisor: Submit the name and contact information for your recommender. The recommender will submit a short letter to recommend you for the program. A recommender can be an academic advisor, professor, or a current/previous supervisor.
  • Essays: Submit responses to two short essays. Your answers for both essay questions may not exceed 450 words (in total). You have two options for your second essay.

1) How might your background, such as where/how you grew up, your work and life experiences, skills and interests, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or ethnicity, influence your contributions to this program and the experience of your classmates? Please describe these factors and their relevance. 

2a) Tell us about a time when you overcame a particularly challenging situation, or series of challenging situations.


2b) When you picture your future, what does it look like? What worries you most? What are the resources (internal or external) you will draw upon to succeed?

You will be evaluated on three criteria for the Stanford MBA Future Leaders Program: academic achievement, demonstrated leadership potential, and contributions to diversity as a program participant. All applicants will be notified of decisions by Thursday, 31 March 2016.

Important Dates

4 February 2016 Application Opens
17 March 2016, 5 pm PT Application Deadline
31 March 2016 Decision Notification
11-14 August 2016 Program Dates

Last Updated 24 Oct 2016